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Need a change of mindset from agricultural production to agricultural economics

Need a change of mindset from agricultural production to agricultural economics
Tác giả: Nguyen Hien - Ha Thanh
Ngày đăng: 23/06/2018

This is the expert's comments on the seminar "Help farmers doing agricultural economics" held on 9/6 by the People's Committee of Dong Thap province and the Saigon Economic Times with the desire to find solutions to help farmers increase their incomes from their land.

Compliance with and assurance of food safety standards will reduce the risks for the consumption of agricultural products. Photo: N.Hien

Speaking at the seminar, Mr. Nguyen Van Duong, Chairman of Dong Thap People's Committee, said that a part of farmers continue to produce in the traditional way and the situation of agricultural products decrease as production productivity increases continuously occurs.

Although the story “Good harvest – Devaluation” reflects partly the market rules, if the planning and preparation were done from the beginning, with a close link between the distribution, processing business and producers, farmer households... it will partly reduce the risks for the consumption of agricultural products.

Solution at macro level

Mr. Pham Phu Ngoc Trai, President of Global Integration Business Consultant Company (GIBC), also said that in the face of the deep integration of the economy, especially with the presence of two large playgrounds CPTPP and APEC, the larger aperture and more diversified scope of the market brings great opportunities. Therefore, it requires Vietnamese agriculture to be strongly transformed in the direction of modernization and commercialization, in line with the motto of increasing value, reducing inputs, forming value chains in an agricultural economy.

Mr. Trai stated that at first, many people think that helping farmers do business is just the farmers’ story, but widely, it is the story at the macro level. Accordingly, he proposed a number of solutions that need to be implemented in parallel.

First, sector-planning in agriculture follows the trend of a market economy, integrating with other economies based on quality and cost. It is necessary to consider short-term and long-term benefits for sustainable growth.

Secondly, restructure the business model in agriculture; build the scale to suit the trend of integration and specificity of Vietnam agriculture. Adopt policies to encourage and facilitate enterprises to seize opportunities to participate in the agricultural sector.

Third, focus on applying high technology along with innovation and creativity as this is always the key to all the efficiency issues in production and business, thereby contributing to improving competitiveness. With these solutions for efficiency and productivity growth, the livelihoods of low-income farmers and unstable agricultural labor will be better.

Along with that, the State should combine with the enterprises to plan output products for the whole sector in a strategic way in each period, in order to minimize the imbalance of supply and demand, which still occurs. In addition, the Mekong Delta tourism development strategy in the context of climate change will contribute positively to improving the efficiency of the value chain in production and business of the agricultural sector.

In developing the Mekong Delta agricultural brand, it is necessary to have a strategy for local brands, national and international brands in a long-term and sustainable vision, in the context of climate change.

Therefore, the government should soon issue more aggressive policies to encourage the accumulation of land to build large production areas, "clear the way" for the processing industry which strengthens the application of science and technology, advanced production processes to promote safe production, organic agriculture, clean agriculture according to the agricultural value chain.

"Completing these tasks above requires a change of mindset from "agricultural production" to "agricultural economics" by agricultural policymakers and managers, as well as by businesses investing in agricultural production." – emphasized Mr. Trai

Agricultural development model associated with tourism

Ms. Vu Kim Hanh, Director of the Center for Business Studies and Assistance (BSA), President of the Business Association of High Quality Vietnamese Products, brought to the seminar the story of Vietnamese Pho (instant food) made in Thailand, which is selling well in the US market.

Ms. Hanh said that this fact has given lessons for Vietnam to consider, which is that Thailand businesses are learning how to combine their advantages that Vietnamese enterprises have not done: distribution network, brand, capture the market, apply high technology solutions, adhere to and ensure global standards on food safety ...

Ms. Hanh pointed out that the world is changing its consumption trend from 2N (eat fully, eat well) to 2S (eat for health and beauty) and paying attention to food safety, nature and tradition (such as family meals, traditional meals); attach importance to plant origin and follow the vegetarianism trend; food associated with traditional and indigenous factors; apply the QR Code technology to know all information about an agricultural product... Therefore, businesses need to focus on three factors, including: the CERT (related to the standards) and BIZLAD (scientific and field research) and VAD, which means value added for the product.

Meanwhile, from a business perspective, Mr. Nguyen Hong Quang, Chairman of Ecofarm Joint Stock Company (Ecofarm) has given some suggestions for agricultural development associated with tourism in Dong Thap Province. Particularly, while Da Lat is famous for its sub-tropical flowers (cold flowers) and its tourism is very good, Dong Thap also has Sa Dec flower village, which is famous for tropical flowers and we can take this advantage to develop tourism.

In addition, Dong Thap has five islets - Cu Lao Tay, a very convenient place to grow all organic products and turn them into a large brand of organic agricultural products, an organic agriculture tourism place.

Similar to Cu Lao Tay, Tan Thuan Dong Islet is also very convenient for the development of high-tech agriculture or organic agriculture. One advantage is that Tan Thuan Dong Islet is located between Sa Dec and Cao Lanh Cities. Therefore, it is possible to develop it into a center of hi-tech agricultural tourism and organic agriculture.

To develop these three models, Mr. Quang said that besides the role of farmers, there should be mechanisms and policies from the government to support and encourage investment in clean agriculture as well as the role of researchers in forecasting the market supply and demand.

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